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Trade Union entry Australasian Typographical Union (1880 - 1915)

Trade Union (Federal)


Born from a three-day conference of printing industry union representatives from South Australia, New South Wales, New Zealand, and the local Melbourne printers' societies in 1880, the Australasian Typographical Union [ATU] was the first federation of unions to span the Tasman. Although it operated as a rather loose federation of societies, it invariably facilitated the movement of printers between the various colonies and New Zealand by providing a standard set of benefits to its members. The Australasian Typographcal Union was dissolved on the 31 December 1915, to make way for a new Australia-wide Union within the Printing Industry, the Printing Industry Employees' Union of Australia [PIEUA].

By 1966, the PIEUA, with a membership of about 40,000 merged with the Amalgamated Printing Trades Employees' Union to become the Printing & Kindred Industries Union [PKIU]. Although reregistered twice more under the same name, the PKIU operated until 1995 when it amalgamated with the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union [AMWU] to form the Automotive Food Metals Engineering Printing & Kindred Industries Union.

Archival resources

The Noel Butlin Archives Centre, ANU Archives Program

  • Printing Industry Employees Union of Australia - Records, 1848 - 1960, T39; The Noel Butlin Archives Centre, ANU Archives Program. Details

Ross G. Elford